Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ram Ramapati Bank

In the eight decades of its existence, over 100,000 people have opened accounts here. Ram Ramapati Bank in this popular pilgrim city is a bank all right, but it doesn't deal in money.
All that an account holder has to do is scribble Lord Ram's name 125,000 times on paper and keep it as a 'deposit' with the bank, in the hope that his or her prayers will be answered. Its 'clientele' is spread over the US, Canada, the West Indies and, of course, across India.
"After the sacred scribble is deposited by a particular account holder, we carry out a series of rituals that are aimed to bring prosperity and good luck to his life," Sumit Mehrotra, grandson of the Ram Ramapati Bank's founder, told IANS on telephone.
Like a bank which gives a loan, this institution claims to loan 'god's name' till the time an account holder writes Lord Ram's name the required number of times and returns the paper. Then the loan is considered repaid. Thereafter, the bank on its own conducts rituals for the account holder's prosperity.
All the papers are kept in the bank's compartments. The family members work in other professions and contribute their own money to keep the bank running. "Mostly people open their accounts in Ram Ramapati Bank to get their prayers answered. From opening the account to organising rituals for the account holder's prosperity, the bank does not ask for a single penny from its customers," he added.
The bank even provides free-of-cost paper bundles and a pen to its account holder for writing Lord Ram's name. Sanctioning of the loan in Ram Ramapati Bank too comes with unique terms and conditions.
"The foremost condition is that the account holder has to deposit all the sacred scribble within eight months and 10 days from the date of sanctioning of the loan," said Mehrotra. "There are other conditions such as the scribbling had to be done after taking a bath. Account holders are also required to shun non-vegetarian food, onion and garlic during the entire period of writing Lord Ram's name," he added.
The bank was established 84 years ago by Das Channu Lal after his spiritual guru told him to devote his life to Lord Ram. People from different walks of life are account holders of the bank. "From doctors, engineers to housewives - all have opened account in the bank for one reason or the other," said Mehrotra, who also owns a coaching institute in Varanasi.

Sheetla Ghat

In c. 1740 pt. Narayana Diksit the preceptor of Bajirao Pesava-1, made this ghat pucca. In fact, this is the southern extension of Dasasvamedha Ghat, where exists Dasasvamedha Tirtha and images of Dasasvamedhesvara and Dasaharesvara. After the famous sitala temple there, this ghat is called after. On the 8th light- half of lunar months of Caitra, Vaisakha Jyestha and Asadha (march – July ) and Asvina (Sept –Oct. ) people celebrate the festival of Sitala Asthami ("8th day" ). The same fastivities also occur at (adi) Sitla Ghat in the north. Another important occasion at this Ghat is the special worship after the newly marriage, the couples and close family members come here for the Ganga worship ritual followed by rituals in the Sitala temple.

Raja Ghat

Formerly known as Amrita Rao Ghat, this was firstly made by the first Maratha chief Gajirao Balaji in c.1720. This was rebuilt with stone slabs by Amrita Rao Pesac\va during 1780 – 1807. At the top of lofty stone steps he established four temples of Amritesvara, Vinayakesvara, Nayanesvara and Gangesvara and four auxiliary shrines, and also renovated the Prabhasa Tritha in 1780.

Gayatri Mata Mandir

Gayatri Mata Mandir is located at Lahurabir.

Om Sai Mandir Nadesar

Zero Mile Marker

In many countries, Kilometer Zero (also written km 0) or similar terms in other languages (also known as Zero mile marker, control stations or control points) is a particular location (often in the nation's capital city), from which distances are traditionally measured. They were markers where drivers could set their odometers to follow directions in early guide books.
A similar notion also exists for individual roads (that is, all locations on the road have a number, depending on their distance from that location), and for individual cities (often the city's central post office is used for this).

Monday, April 21, 2014

Dakshidi Adi Sheetla Mata (Budhiya Mai)

Dakshidi Adi Sheetla Mata (Budhiya Mai) Temple is located at Dashashwamedh Ghat Varanasi inside cave.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Sai Baba Temple

Sai Baba Temple is located in Orderly Bazar next behind Mahavir Mandir.

Swarved Mahamandir

Swarved Mahamandir is among the world’s largest meditation centres, located in Umaraha,near chiraigaon Block (Varanasi - Ghazipur Highway) Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh in north India, close to the ancient Buddhist town Sarnath. With a seating capacity of more than 20,000 practitioners at once, this spiritual marvel is about to be finished. Known as the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi is one of the oldest cities in the world. Once finished, Swarved Mahamandir would be the most prominent landmark of the city.
Meditation under the holy guidance of Sadguru is the key to spiritual growth. Throughout the year, spiritual seekers of all religions keep flocking to Swarved Mahamandir. Be it Buddhist monks or businessmen, students or retired people, all come here for experiencing the bliss of deep meditation.
Every year multiple mega events of Vihangam Yoga are held here, attracting hundreds of thousands. The mega event Varshikotsav, the annual spiritual congregation marks the anniversary of establishing Vihangam Yoga Sansthan under the holy guidance of Sadguru Sadafaldeo Ji Maharaj. This 2-day event, in particular, hosts few hundred thousand people at once from all across the globe. A large Vedic Hawan program is also held, where 5100 Hawan Kunds are lit together. The Sadguru’s Amritvani, Sant Pravar Shri Vigyandeo Ji Mahraj’s Swarved Kathamrit, Shri Naamdeo Ji Maharaj's discourse, Asan-Pranayam-meditation training are among the prime attractions. This year, it is being observed on the 7th and 8th of December, Saturday and Sunday.
The largest among the six prime centres of Vihangam Yoga, the Swarved Mahamandir is dedicated to the Holy Scripture Swarved. The inner walls of this 7-storey Mahamandir would be covered with entire 4000 couplets of Swarved engraved in fine Makarana Marble, the world’s very best variety of marble. The whole temple would be bright white, a perfect amalgamation of modern architecture and spiritual vision.

Ganga Mahal Ghat

Ganga Mahal Ghat, Varanasi, UP, India. This is an another ghat of the same name. This, in fact, is an old part of Yamesvara Ghat. King of Gwalior had built it in early 19th century and later on repaired and rebuilt by Govinda Bali Kiratankara.

Jatar Ghat

Jatara Ghat ,Raja Gwalior Ghat and also Rama ghat were erected by the patronage of Madhorao Pesava in c. 1766. In fact, they are the two ends of the same ghat.

Raja Gwalior Ghat

Jatara Ghat ,Raja Gwalior Ghat and also Rama ghat were erected by the patronage of Madhorao Pesava in c. 1766. In fact, they are the two ends of the same ghat.

Ram Ghat

Ram Ghat is located near the Harsiddhi Temple and was built by the Raja of Jaipur. The ghat comes alive during the Ramnavami Mela held on the 9th day of Chaitra. Hindus take a bath early in the morning and worship Lord Ram in the neighbouring temple.

Bhonsale Ghat

In c. 1780 Maratha king ‘Bhonsala’ of Nagpur made this ghat, and lather in 1795 this was a made pucca together with the establishment of the temple of Laksmi narayana and a place. Two important shrines near by to the palace are of Yamesvara and Yamaditya.

Scindia Ghat

Scindia Ghat (also called Scindias and Shinde) borders Manikarnik, India to the north, with its Shiva temple lying partially submerged in the Ganges River as a result of excessive weight of the ghats' construction, about 150 years ago. The ghat is named after the Scindias, whose built it. Above the ghat, several of Kashi’s most influential shrines are located within the tight maze of alleys of Siddha Kshetra (Field of Fulfillment). According to mythology, Agni, the Hindu God of Fire was born here. Hindu devotees propitiate at this place to Vireshwara, the Lord of all heroes, for a son.

Sankatha Ghat

Its old name was Yameshvara Ghat after the name of the shrine. At the top in the lane lies temples of Yameshvara and harischandresvara which might be thought of the old cremation area; still at present on the ossasion of Yama Dvitiya devottees take sacred bath. In late 18th cent. king of Baroda made this ghat, but 1825 Beniram Pandit’s widow, known as "Panditain", and nephews built this ghat pucca together with a building structure of the temple of Sanktha Devi. At the top of the ghat towards the city there shrines of Katyayini and Siddhesvari goddesses; three Vinayakas: Hariscandra, Cintamani and Mitra; and Vasukisvara. A new image of Santosi Mata (" Mother of Satisfaction") has recently also been built at the top. Between the Manikarnika and Scindhia Ghats there exist three water-tirthas, Viz, Uma, Sarasvata and Kamblasvetara.

Jalasen Ghat

Somehow in diverted from this ghat is also called as Jalasayi Ghat. In fact and the followed one both are part of the cremation ghat. The name it self indicates "putting dead body into water" as part of ritual before putting the corpse on the funeral pyre. In the mid- nineteenth century the nearby building and the ghat were built.

Nepali Ghat

Havell 1905:130) described this ghat: "where, recessed in the stone embankment, and completely covered by the river in the rainy season, is a pretty little shrine of Ganga, the Ganges, represented as a female figure seated on crocodile. Above it a stair- case leads to the Nepalese temple, a very picturesque building, half-hidden by magnificent tamarind and pippal trees. It is built chiefly of wood and brick; the double-storied roof, with great projecting eaves supported by brackets, is characteristic of the architecture of Nepal and of other sub-Himalayan districts". The great is patronized by a Nepalese, and was built pucca in c.1902 by Nanhi Babu. The area is dominated by Nepalese residents (Nepali Khapra).

Friday, April 18, 2014

Mahavir Mandir

Mahavir Mandir is located in Orderly Bazar.

Tripura Bhairavi Ghat

This ghat is named after the Tripura Bhairavi Shrine, a female partner of Tripuresvara whose image also exists there. Another important shrine is of Varahi, one of the nine mother-goddesses. In late eighteenth century king of Banaras and pt. Mayananda Giri had patronize to make this ghat pucca.

Mir Ghat

This ghat represents two old sites of Jarasandhesvara and Vrdhaditya, which were converted by Mira Rustam Ali in 1735. Presently, in the name of these two shrines pilgrims throw flowers and raw-rice in the Ganga and remember them. The shrines and images in the vicinity are Vrdhaditya, Asa Vinayaka, Yajna Varahaand Visalaksi("The Wide-Eyed ", one of the 52 Sakti-pithas of goddesses.) another important site is Dharmakupa consisting of a sacred well surrounded by five temple, and also Divodasesvara lingam. The temple of Dharmesa is associated to the myth of Yama's (Lord of Death) power over the fate of the dead everywhere on the earth, except in Kashi. With the notion that due to entrance of low castes ("untouchables") the temple of Visvesvara/ Visvanatha became impure, Svami Karapatri-Ji, a very conservative Brahmin and a cult-chief, has established a " New Visva’natha Temple" in 1956 at top of the ghat. On the steps, under a pipala tree, the water- pouring ritual in honour of ancestors in performed.

Prayag Ghat

This ghat (old Prayaga Tirtha) together with shrine of Prayagagesvara replicates the existence of Prayaga/Ghats Of Varanasi Allahabad in Varanasi. Prayaga, known as "Tirtharaja" (king of Tirthas), lies at the confluence of the Ganga, the Yamuna and the invisible Sarasvati rivers. It is commonly believed that doing rituals and taking sacred bath here provide exactly the same religious merit as those at Prayaga (80 km away in the west). The merit of this ares is eulogized in the KKh (61.36-38). About the present condition, Eck (1982.228) remarks that "Today, however, the name Prayaga Ghat, while it is painted boldly on temple that sits between the two branches of Dasasvamedha, is not commonly used. And even the temple there is utterly defunct, used only by boatmen who store their gear in its sanctum". The temple and the ghat-area were reconstructed by queen of Digpatia state (West Bengal). For the whole month of Magha (Jan-Feb.) devotees, mostly, use to take bath at this site.

Rana Mahal Ghat

In fact, this is a extended part of the preceding ghat, and also made by king of Udaipur in c.1670. At the top there is shrine of Vakratunda Vinayaka, one among the fifty-six.

Darbhanga Ghat

Together with magnifivent building along the ghat and a grand Siva temple in Nilakantha area, the king of Darabhanga (Bihar) made them in 1915. The building along the ghat shows a massive Greek pillars style. The shrine of Kukutesvara lies at the top.

Munshi Ghat

The ghat was built by Sridhara Narayana Munsi a finance minister in the State of Darabhanga, in 1912 as an extended pare of Darabhanga Ghat. After his death in 1924 this portion ghat named in his honour.